Listening to the radio or your favorite podcast while working can make the job much more enjoyable. If you work in a rugged environment, such as a construction site, then you may need a jobsite radio.
These radios usually come with durable, protective type coverings and heavy duty features. They are made for dirty environments where a fall from a ladder may not be unusual.
Several of the radios include modern upgrades, like bluetooth and auxiliary inputs. Many use a rechargeable battery as well, using the same battery that many cordless tools use. This is great because you can buy a radio or speaker that uses the same battery that you may already have.
If you need a speaker or radio at your workplace or just in your garage, look no further than the list below. I have curated some of the top radios available, and I have done an in depth review of each one.
These units include both radios and the ability to play bluetooth devices. They are great to use on a construction site or in your garage.
These worksite speakers do not include a radio tuner or some of the other features of the bigger units above. These are meant to be portable and simple, but they still pack a punch.
What to Look for in a Jobsite Radio
There are a few things that I recommend paying attention to when trying to select a radio. They are not necessities of course, but they are nice to have features that make it worth your while.
- Bluetooth Capability
- Compatibility with other battery system
- Auxiliary cord input
- Radio Tuner
- Corded Option – Ability to charge batteries is a plus
- Other outputs – USB, 120V AC, etc.
- Weight and Size considerations
You will need to decide which of these aspects are important to you and which ones you are willing to compromise on. It is probably not necessary to get every single one of these things into one radio, but I believe you can find one in this list that suits your needs.
Along with these considerations there are a few more questions you should ask yourself:
- Where will you be using it?
- Will it mainly be used in your garage, or is this going to be a construction site radio?
- Will you need to preset stations and have a good quality tuner?
Some radios are not quite as durable and can’t handle the rigorous environment that a construction site might present. Pay attention to the reviews that people give these radios for each job. I will do my best here to investigate the pros and cons of these radios.
Milwaukee M18 Jobsite Radio/Charger
The Milwaukee Jobsite Radio is great for many different purposes. It not only has bluetooth and radio capability, but it will charge your Milwaukee batteries.
It will make it super simple to switch out your cordless drill battery (fully charged) with this speaker while you are busy on a construction site. All the while listening to some tunes.
I like this radio very much due to a few different reasons. It does all three of the things that I want it to do: bluetooth capability, radio tuner, and it will charge batteries (when plugged in to a wall outlet of course) plus run cordlessly.
Most of the other radios and speakers only do one or two of these things.
Lets get into the details of this tool and how it can help bring more enjoyment to your workshop.
- Built in charger for M18 batteries
- 10 Radio station presets
- Built in storage compartment for phones and small items
- Bluetooth input
- USB port for charging
- Auxiliary input
- Power cord included
- Radio + antennae
The built in charger will allow you to charge M18 batteries while you play music. It has to be plugged in of course, but this is made simple with the included power cord that tucks away nicely on the back of the unit.
It has 10 radio station presets so that it is easy to move between your favorite stations. This is not an uncommon feature, but it is important nonetheless. I like being able to listen to the radio sometimes instead of having to worry about connecting my phone. If you will be frequently going out of range of the bluetooth connection (and don’t want to leave your phone in the unit), then it is usually best to just turn the radio on instead.
The storage compartment on top of the unit is great for leaving your phone in to stay connected to the bluetooth or to charge with a USB cord. Some radios are not big enough for this convenience, so this is a nice plus.
The USB port can be used to charge your device while it is playing. This way it won’t run down the power just from listening to music.
The unit itself is built with a strong frame and durable components. This will allow you to keep it on a construction site and not worry about whether or not some stray piece of 2×4 is going to crush it to smithereens.
To top it all off, you can also use an auxiliary cord instead of bluetooth for input. This can come in handy especially if for some reason you can’t connect a device with bluetooth.
What’s Good About it?
It comes with all of the features that you will want with a radio/speaker.
Bluetooth, auxiliary input, and radio are available for listening options.
It charges batteries when plugged in, one of the few that do this.
The speakers are high quality and loud.
It will match up with other M18 Milwaukee tools (some of the best tools available).
What’s Not So Good?
It may be slightly bigger than you will want. This will limit portability. You won’t be able to throw it into your tool box.
There are a couple components that could be slightly beefier, like the antennae. This is a minor issue that you will probably not even notice.
It is pricier than some of the other units available.
A top tier jobsite radio with features that you need.
PORTER-CABLE PCC771B Bluetooth Radio
The Porter-Cable PCC771B is a great option for using at work. It does several different things and does them well. It is compatible with the line of Porter-Cable batteries.
One of the best features of this radio is the fact that you can program in presets for the radio tuner. This is something that few radios will have.
I can see using this radio on a construction site where you need the portability and durability, but want something that can tune in to your favorite talk show and play it loud.
It will especially work great if you are using other battery compatible tools at the same time. When the battery runs down on the radio, you can simply switch it out with a fully charged one. It also has a cord that you can plug in as well, so you should never be without tunes.
- Two speakers for great volume capability
- Radio tuner with 12 presets
- Uses a 20V P-C battery or can be plugged into AC outlet
- Bluetooth and auxiliary inputs
- Durable and made to withstand jobsite abuse
This radio will work well, especially if you plan on listening to the radio. Some of the radio speakers available do not have a tuner feature. The one that I own personally cannot tune into the radio. This is disappointing sometimes because I can’t simply turn on the local high school game or sports broadcast. It even has 12 preset options so you don’t waste time trying to get tuned in.
I like the fact that it has both a cord and battery option. If you are working in the garage and don’t need to take it anywhere, then it makes sense to just plug it into the wall instead of running a battery down. Not all batteries are compatible with this unit – they should be the 20V Max Porter-Cable battery.
One lacking aspect of this unit is that it does not charge the battery when plugged in to the wall. I think it would be great if you could use it to charge batteries as well as use the battery when not plugged in. Porter-Cable makes another radio that DOES charge the battery when plugged in, but for some reason it does NOT have bluetooth capability. No speaker or radio should ever be made without bluetooth.
This radio will be loud with two speakers. It may not be as loud as a legit stereo system of course, but louder than the Klein wireless speaker I reviewed above.
The unit is durable and made for the jobsite, although it is not clear how dustproof it actually is. It should withstand most of the rigors that a workplace might put it through. I would generally avoid liberal amounts of water and dirt, however.
What’s Good About It?
It is durable, loud, and easy to move.
It uses bluetooth, which is always a positive. You can also set radio presets for FM and AM. A plus on top of all that is an auxiliary input option.
It can use a 20V battery for power or be plugged into the wall with the included cord.
If you own cordless Porter-Cable equipment then you can interchange the batteries with this unit. It is great when you can get all the tools you have on the same system. One type of charger and one type of battery.
What’s Not So Good
It does not charge the battery when it is plugged into the wall. So you will need a separate battery charger for the cordless option.
Some users have reported that the speakers do not tolerate much moisture. It is smart to keep water and dust away from the speakers. I would expect better from a jobsite unit.
Some have mentioned that the cord is of low quality. This could be a problem at the workplace where people may drop things and step on the cord.
A decent cordless speaker that matches up with Porter-Cable batteries.
Dewalt DCR025 Bluetooth Radio and Charger
This Dewalt radio is a serious challenger to Milwaukee’s radio charger. It has many similar features and adds the ability to plug in a tool to two available AC outlets.
This is an awesome feature that allows you to run a second battery charger (when the unit is plugged in of course – wouldn’t make much sense to use one battery to charge another). or other tool on one or both of these outlets
I believe you could definitely make use of this radio in your garage or workshop. If you own Dewalt tools and batteries then it is almost a no brainer. It also works off of Dewalt’s FLEXVOLT technology. This means that you can use the 60V flexvolt batteries to run this radio.
- Uses 20V Max, 60V Max or AC cord for power
- Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary input
- 2 AC outlets for other tools
- Charges batteries when plugged into AC outlet
- Radio tuner
- 20W speakers for full sound
Like the Milwaukee radio, this Dewalt charges connected batteries when plugged into an AC outlet. I find this to be a great feature and one that is almost a deal breaker for me. Instead of having a charger by itself you can have an entire radio with bluetooth connectivity.
One thing that separates this radio from the others is the fact that you can plug in to one of the two AC outlets on the side of this unit. It needs to be plugged into the wall if you want to use this feature to run another battery charger. But you could easily run a small tool like a grinder off of it.
Dewalt has included bluetooth input along with auxiliary and a USB port. The USB port offers charging at a rate of 2.1 Amps. The battery charger operates at a rate of 3 Amps.
There is a storage box on the front of the unit towards the bottom. This allows you to keep your phone in the unit as it is hooked up to the auxiliary port or USB charger.
What’s Good About it?
The radio offers a range of features that keep it competitive with the other brands.
It charges batteries when it is plugged in.
The AC outlets give you the option of running another charger or small tool.
It has bluetooth, auxiliary and radio tuner options.
It will run on both the 20V Max and 60V max batteries that Dewalt offers.
The storage unit on the bottom is great to have for small items.
The speakers have woofers, air ports, and tweeters for optimal sound quality.
What’s Not So Good?
Some users have had problems with the storage compartment being too small and hard to access. This is probably due to its position at the bottom, and if you have a USB cord plugged in then it makes it more difficult to close the door.
The display is not nearly as clear and easy to see as the Milwaukee unit. This is not a big deal if you regularly use your phone for playing music through bluetooth, but it seems like it could be improved.
A great radio with desired features and two extra AC outputs.
Makita XRM06B 18V LXT Bluetooth Jobsite Radio
If you choose to buy the Makita Jobsite Radio, you will not be disappointed. This unit packs a ton features in a small space.
The best part of this unit is that it is compatible with a range of batteries. If you are a long time Makita cordless tool user, then you will appreciate that it can run on so many different styles of battery.
You will easily be able to carry this unit to and from the jobsite, and into different workspaces as you go. And you will not need to worry about its durability as you move it. They have engineered it to withstand the abuse that a jobsite might throw at it.
It has great run time, so you can take it to the jobsite and not have to charge it the entire time you are working. It can run up to 35 hours on a fully charged 18V LXT 5.0Ah battery, so you better be ready to work for a long time if you plan on outlasting this unit.
- Bluetooth and auxiliary inputs
- Radio tuner and antennae
- USB charging port
- Long runtime with 18V LXT batteries
- Water and Dust resistant
- Bumpers on the unit for added durability
- 2 3″ side speakers
- Illuminated controls
This radio has both bluetooth and auxiliary inputs. Like the other radios, you can use your phone to connect to this unit and play music. The auxiliary input is on the front of the unit towards the bottom.
Next to the auxiliary input is the USB port. If you have a cord for charging your phone then you can easily plug in there to charge it up. This is needed sometimes if you are playing music through the bluetooth connection all day long.
It has a radio tuner and antennae. The reception for this radio is very good, so you should be able to pick up your favorite station while on the job.
It has great runtime on the 18V LXT batteries that Makita produces. It is also compatible with the 7.2V, 12V max, 12V max CXT, and 14.4V batteries. This allows any long time Makita users to use this tool with their old batteries. It almost makes it a no brainer if you currently own any cordless Makita tools.
This unit does NOT charge batteries and it also does not come with any included.
It is dust and water resistant (not proof) so it can withstand the rigor of a construction area. It even has bumpers on the unit to help with any close encounters it may have.
The side speakers offer a unique style, but it seems to work just as well as any of the others.
The controls on the unit are illuminated for easy operation, and it also has presets available for the radio tuner.
What’s Good About it?
The battery compatibility is impressive. Makita has really aimed to make this unit accessible for its customers.
It offers great reception.
You can use bluetooth or auxiliary inputs for music.
It is a durable unit with added protections for sensitive areas.
The runtime is great. With a fully charged battery you can keep this thing on for a long time.
The controls and positioning of all the features are intuitive. It even has a big strong handle for carrying to and from the workplace.
What’s Not So Good?
It does not charge batteries.
There is no storage area to keep your phone or other small items.
The speakers may not be as powerful as some would like. With speakers on the side like this unit, the sound will not be as powerful directly in front like some of the other units will be.
A solid jobsite radio that Makita users will love.
This little speaker packs a punch in a variety of different ways. It is great for the garage, jobsite, or on the go.
The magnet on the back allows it to attach to anything that is metal. This is an awesome feature that you won’t find with any other bluetooth speakers.
Another cool feature is the mount on the bottom of the unit. It has a threaded hole that allows you to mount it on any tripod (1/4″-20 thread).
This unit will not have the big features that a full size job site radio will. It will work best for the individual who can carry this around with them and doesn’t need to listen to the radio. Simply connected via bluetooth to your phone or other music player.
- Magnet on back to mount to metal surfaces
- Bluetooth or auxiliary input
- 10 hour battery life
- Durable case – drop proof up to 6.6′
- Mount on bottom for mounting on tripod
- USB to micro USB charging cable
This unit will work great for most jobsites and garages. The best part about it is that it is easily portable and simple to use. I like how you can easily throw it in the toolbox and carry it with you as you go.
The magnet on the back of the unit will provide some neat opportunities to mount it to metal surfaces. I can see working up on a ladder and attaching it to a metal rafter or other surface. This would be super convenient, especially if you are in a spot for an extended period of time.
Although the bluetooth connectivity is the best selling point of this unit, it also has an auxiliary input for connecting devices. This is good for if you have some other music player that does not have bluetooth.
The battery life is great at 10 hours. This is more than what you normally find with units like this. I would love to be able to recharge less and listen more.
One thing to remember about this unit is that it doesn’t use a cordless tool battery from a toolset like the other jobsite radios. It is integrated into the unit, and will have to be recharged with the USB cable that is included.
This unit does not have a radio tuner feature like some of the other radios. It cannot play music or anything as a standalone. This speaker is meant to be connected with some type of music player.
What’s Good About It?
The size and durability is great for the jobsite. I would feel more than comfortable using this unit in a wood shop or on the farm because it has a dust proof case and can handle drops up to 6.6 feet.
The battery life is superb, and users have reported that it lives up to the claim.
The magnet on the back is a cool feature that can come in handy.
It has bluetooth connectivity along with an auxiliary jack.
The price point is lower than the other jobsite radios, making it an attractive option.
You won’t have to own a cordless battery tool set to match up with. The battery is integrated into the unit and charging is done by a USB cord.
What’s Not So Good?
It does not have a radio tuner, so no listening to the radio unless you play it through your phone.
The speaker can only go to a certain volume because of its size and power. This may mean that in loud environments the volume will not go high enough your taste. If you work at a loud jobsite then this is something to consider.
If you want to use a set of batteries you already have, then you should look into if that brand makes a radio.
You cannot switch out the battery. You will have to connect the whole unit to recharge.
A small speaker that packs a bunch of great features.
This Makita bluetooth speaker fits the bill for a great, small jobsite speaker. It is very portable and easy to use.
You will enjoy carrying this speaker around in your toolbox and taking it with you in your truck. Listen to music on the construction site and then put it away easily.
It is compatible with both of the 18V and 12V lithium ion batteries that Makita produces. This is great if you also have other Makita tools. You can have compatibility between everything without having to buy new chargers or tool sets.
I think you will appreciate the features that are included in this unit. Not only can you hook up a phone via bluetooth, but it has an auxiliary input and USB port.
Here are the more in depth details of the unit:
- Bluetooth, USB port, and auxiliary input
- Optional 120V power cord
- Up to 32 hours run time
- Durable and protective case
- Fold down handle for easy portability
- Simple control panel
This unit has many of the great features that are included in its bigger brother, the jobsite radio.
There is bluetooth connectivity, an auxiliary input and a USB port for charging your phone or other device.
It has great run time using the 18V and 12V batteries that Makita produces. It can run up to 32 hours using the 18V LXT battery BL1850B.
This small unit, like the bigger XRM06B, has protective bumpers. This is great for the jobsite or your garage. It should be able to withstand a bit of abuse. When it gets kicked over or something falls on it you shouldn’t have to worry about it immediately breaking.
The handle on top of the unit makes it easy to move from one place to another (not to mention that it doesn’t weigh very much in the first place). It is one of the few speakers/radios that you will find with such a handle.
The control panel illuminates and makes it easy to connect a phone via bluetooth. Since it does not have a radio there is no tuner or presets.
On the back of the unit there is a small storage slot for keeping your phone. This is a rare feature even on the larger units, so it is surprising to find on this one.
What’s Good About it?
It is compatible with multiple Makita batteries. But if you need to charge a battery then you can use the A/C adapter to plug into a wall receptacle.
It has bluetooth, an auxiliary line in, and a USB charging port.
Great run time on the larger 18V battery.
A small compact unit that is durable.
Good, full sound for speakers of its size.
What’s Not So Good?
It may not be as loud as you need it to be due to its size. This will only be a problem at a quite loud worksite.
It does not charge the batteries, but none of these speakers will. Only a few of the larger radio style units actually charge the batteries. It is still something to keep in mind, however.
A compact bluetooth speaker that still contains bigger radio style features.
The Milwaukee 2592-20 is a great speaker for those who own the M12 line of cordless tools. This speaker will get quite loud and the sound quality is great.
The runtime is great but not quite as long as the Makita.
It is easily paired via bluetooth and has very few buttons (which I like), so you don’t have to wonder too long how to hook it up or learn any new controls.
It has the features that you will have come to expect: bluetooth, auxiliary input, USB port, etc.
- Bluetooth, auxiliary input, and USB port
- Premium speakers deliver great sound
- Rugged molding around unit provide durability
- Compatible with Milwaukee’s M12 batteries
This unit is great mostly because of its simplicity. If you do not need extra features or extra battery compatibility then this is the speaker for you.
The best selling point on this unit is its sound quality. It is has great depth and clarity.
You can easily hook it up via bluetooth, although the range is not as good as the other units. This is probably because it has not been updated in several years.
The molding around the unit is strong and durable. This speaker will survive a fall off of the workbench and keep playing all at the same time.
If you are using Milwaukee’s M12 batteries, then you will not go wrong with this speaker. It cannot use the M18 line, however. I have several M12 tools so this is not a problem, and that is part of the reason I like this one.
A downside of this unit is that it doesn’t have an option A/C adapter. You can’t run it unless you have the correct M12 battery.
What’s Good About it?
It has great sound with a quality speaker. The metal grill covering the speaker is durable and attractive.
It is easy to connect via bluetooth with minimal buttons. The no fuss attitude of it is awesome for those who don’t like a bunch of frills.
The entire unit is durable and easy to set up on a table. It looks good and should last a long time.
What’s Not So Good?
It does not have a A/C adapter for plugging into the wall. It should also go without saying that this speaker does not charge batteries.
You cannot use M18 batteries, or any of the older batteries that Milwaukee makes. It will use any of the M12 RedLithium batteries available.
There is no storage space for keeping your phone or any small items.
One negative that I have found is that it will not stand up straight if there is not a battery connected. The rear of the unit sits on the battery, so it falls backwards if no battery is inserted into the slot. I don’t much like this because sometimes I need to charge it, so it just has to lay on its side.
It is difficult to carry around. Unlike the Makita (which has a nice handle), you simply have to carry this unit however you see fit. It does have a small loop on top so that you maybe could put a rope through, but nothing very straightforward.
A no frills speaker for those with the M12 battery line.
Milwaukee’s M18/M12 speaker offering is a great value for those wanting to listen to some music in their garage or at the worksite.
It has all of the features that you will want in a bluetooth speaker: auxiliary input, USB port, and A/C adapter. This will allow you to play your phone via line in or bluetooth while you charge it at the same time. It doesn’t have a storage compartment that you can put your phone in while playing, but that is normally only found on the larger units.
If you are a user of Milwaukee’s tools, then this speaker will be a great addition to your workshop. The M18 and M12 batteries are very common and top quality, so the run time on this unit should be impressive.
- Compatible with M18 and M12 batteries
- A/C adapter for 120V use
- 100ft distance bluetooth connectivity
- Auxiliary input and USB charging port
- Dust and water resistant
- Durable and protective cage
- High quality speakers
M18 and M12 batteries are very common for users of Milwaukee’s tools. They are high quality and charge extremely fast. This is great for you because that means this speaker is going to run a long time on a single charge.
Its also great because the unit is compatible with both battery styles. Unlike the previous speaker, the 2592-20, it can be powered with either the M18 or M12 battery.
If you do not have a battery on hand, or you need to charge it, then you can plug the speaker into the wall with the A/C adapter.
The bluetooth connectivity is impressive with this unit. It has a distance of 100ft, making it stay connected as you move around the workplace. This way you won’t have to always leave the phone right next to the unit.
If you don’t want to use bluetooth then there is also an auxiliary input option.
The 2.1A USB port is great for charging small devices. Sometimes the bluetooth connection will really drain the battery on your phone, so it is nice to be able to keep it powered up as you listen to music.
The construction of the unit is durable and made for a dirt jobsite. It is dust and water resistant (not proof – don’t go dunking this in a bucket of water). The edges of the unit are made for resisting small impacts or drops.
The speakers feature 2 mid range woofers, 2 tweeters, and 2 radiators for optimal sound delivery. This speaker really works well and you will be impressed with its output.
What’s Good About it?
Unlike Milwaukee’s previous speaker, this one has a much better bluetooth range and a few more options. If I was deciding between the two, I would definitely buy this one.
It can use both the M18 and M12 battery.
The speakers are well designed and play at a high quality level.
I like the construction and design of the unit. It is an attractive and simple aesthetic.
It has an option for using an A/C adapter. This way you can continue to play music when you need to charge the battery.
What’s Not So Good?
It does not charge either battery when it is plugged into the wall. This is not a big surprise since this is difficult to do with such a small unit.
No storage space for keeping a phone or small item.
Awesome speaker for those who love Milwaukee Tools and those who don’t but should.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I get one with a radio?
I really think you should own both styles. Buy one with a radio and one that is just a speaker. This is because the speaker unit is usually smaller and portable. You will be able to take it places just by throwing it in your toolbox.
The radio style is good for somewhere you will be working longer. A garage, construction site, etc.
Q: How do I decide between all of these?
First off, I would consider what batteries I currently own. If I happened to own Makita tools, then I would probably get the same brand to keep it consistent and simple.
You will also need to take the price into consideration. Other than that, any of these radios and speakers will do a very good job and you won’t be disappointed.
Q: Why is Bluetooth so important?
It is a great technology that allows you to pair your phone wirelessly with these speakers. You can then play music or anything directly from your phone.
I think it is important to get one with Bluetooth (there are many available that don’t have this option) because it works so well. The range is generally around 100ft, and it is so convenient to carry your phone with you and change the song, answer calls, etc. with ease.
Q: Are any of these water proof?
None of these are water proof, although they are water resistant. If you need one that can handle being dunked in water, then you may need to check out marine style speakers or some that are made for the swimming pool.
Q: What is the best brand to buy?
The brands available now are all doing a very good job producing long lasting and reliable tools. I have used every single one of these brands in some form or fashion, and they all perform well.
If you forced me to choose, I would probably go with Milwaukee. Their impact wrench just cannot be beat, and I’m sure they enforce high standards across every piece they make.
If you need a radio for your garage, worksite, or in the backyard, then you are in luck.
These cordless tool companies are making some high quality equipment, and there are several radios and speakers to choose from.
I hope you have found this guide helpful in answering any questions you may have had. It is updated periodically to reflect the latest technology and I carefully scrutinize each tool to make sure that you get the low down on it.
If you have found this guide helpful, don’t hesitate to share it on social media, and check out some of the other tools I have reviewed.